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Analytical Thinking

Qualitative Analysis

11 Examples of Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is the process of understanding things by breaking them into their component parts. More broadly, the term analytical thinking is often used to denote a methodical and systematic approach to thinking. The following are illustrative examples.


The process of gathering information and organizing information. For example, a family in the market for a house that begins to collect information about different neighborhoods.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is the process of collecting, processing, modeling, calculating, visualizing, communicating and thinking about data. For example, an airline that has become unpopular amongst first class travelers that gathers and organizes customer survey data to try to understand why.

Statistical Analysis

Statistics is the formal analysis of data. This includes descriptive statistics which summarize data samples and probability theory that can be used to make predictions. For example, an aircraft engineer who models probabilities for different levels of extreme turbulence.

Convergent Thinking

Convergent thinking is the process of determining the correct answer to a problem with a well known solution. For example, an administrator who validates that software is correctly calculating tax deductions for thousands of employees.

Decision Analysis

The process of systematically modeling a decision such as an investor who uses hard data to estimate the risk-reward ratio for various investments.

SWOT Analysis

A popular method for identifying strategy in the context of competition and constraints by listing out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Problem Analysis

The process of determining the root cause of a problem and identifying and comparing various solutions. For example, an elevator mechanic who uses 5 whys to determine the root cause of an elevator door malfunction.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a broad term for systematic thought processes. For example, a student who identifies the main points made by an article and challenges each one.


Evaluating information without allowing your subjective opinions and emotions to influence the process. For example, a manager who can evaluate an employee positively based on their contributions even if they personally find the employee difficult.


Logic is a discipline that allows you to construct arguments that are internally consistent. This is garbage-in-garbage-out as logic can still produce invalid reasoning if your premises are incorrect. Traditional systems of logic also have a problem of excluded middle whereby they can't handle grey areas.

Challenging Assumptions

The process of challenging stated and unstated assumptions. For example, an urban planner who challenges the assumption that roads are primarily for cars.
Overview: Analytical Thinking
The process of understanding things by breaking them into their component parts
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about analysis.
Analysis Writing
Business Analysis
Capability Analysis
Cost Analysis
Data Analysis
Feasibility Analysis
Qualitative Analysis
Risk Analysis
Social Analysis
SWOT Analysis
Technology Analysis
More ...
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